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"Once Upon A Team"

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  • "Once Upon A Team"

    I have just picked up Once Upon A Team: The Epic Rise And Historic Fall of Baseball's Wilmington Quicksteps, by Jon Springer. You are forgiven if you never heard of the Quicksteps--even here in Wilmington, Delaware it is a niche topic. But they lay claim to being Delaware's only "major league" baseball team--assuming that you accept the Union Association as a major league, of course.

    The Quicksteps played in the minor "Eastern League" (which, in 1887, was absorbed into the International League). In 1884 the Quicksteps were the 800-pound gorilla of the league, with a 51-12 record (.810). The next closest team was 36-21 (.632). But 1884 also saw the existence of the Union Association. As the UA's season went on, a few teams failed to complete the season. One of those was the Philadelphia Keystones. To replace the Keystones, the Quicksteps were promoted to the UA.

    That's when things turned ugly. Players jumped to other teams, the pace pf play was higher than Wilmington was used to. Cut to the chase: they went 2-16 (.111) and, on their last game (at home) there were less than 200 fans in the stands--not enough to even cover the guaranteed $75 to be paid to the visiting team (the Kansas City Cowboys). The manager of the Quicksteps called his team off the field and the team was dissolved.

    The world will little note nor long remember. But it is a piece of local history for me, so I have found the book worth it. It is put out by "Sports Publishing" (an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing).
    "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one one of them."--Pee Wee Reese

  • #2
    I may purchase the book after reading the preview pages on Amazon. I always enjoy reading books about the forgotten teams or leagues, especially in the 19th century.


    • #3
      it's a marvelous book


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